Wow...Easter's coming early this year. With Lent starting on Valentine's Day and Easter Sunday coinciding with April Fool's Day, we've got all our holidays mixed up.
Every family has Easter traditions, and our family has ours. Unfortunately, since my sister and I are growing up, we're too big for a lot of them. For the first time this year, we're not decorating eggs. I'm a crafty type-and by crafty I mean creative rather than cunning--and when I realized that egg decorating could be more than dyes that never came out right and stickers that never quite stuck, I was ecstatic. Suddenly, eggs became works of art. I'd draw designs on them with white crayons before dying them. Some were two different colors. It might not have been perfect, but it was nice.
We might have ditched the Easter eggs, but I'm still going to hold out for sugar cookies come Christmas. They taste way better than hardboiled eggs.
I guess I've never really stopped to wonder why people decorate eggs for Easter. What's so special about them? Does the egg symbolize something? Why are the colored? Can a special combination of colors represent a secret code? That sounds interesting....who wants to read a mystery book in which the two detectives communicate via the arrangement of Easter eggs in a basket? It's like the language of flowers--but with eggs.
Speaking of flowers, do you decorate your house for Easter? We have a family of bunnies--fake ones, of course, wearing matching pink dresses. There's a mom, a big sister, a little sister, and a baby. I've always wondered what happened to the dad. I look at the mama bunny, with the baby sewn into her arms (and usually hanging by a thread, because they're old bunnies), and the responsible older sister with the basket of flowers, and the younger sister who's wearing a ballerina tutu, and my writer brain starts rolling.
We haven't put our Easter bunnies out yet. I don't know if we're going to.
And then there's that grass. The grass that goes in the egg baskets. It's not even worth it, because it gets absolutely everywhere. I had a friend growing up whose bedroom carpet was always covered in Easter grass. Always. It didn't matter if it was April or August, you'd find a stray bit of annoying plastic in her carpet.
No! Get it away! My carpets! My vacuum! Argh!
And now, if I can pry my eyes away from the most annoying substance this planet has yet created (unless it's second to whistles designed for young children), I can focus on the good things about Easter. See, there's more to holidays than just traditions. Most of them were created for reasons. Easter is arguably the most important holiday in the Christian religion, because Easter Sunday is the day Jesus rose from the grave. Without the resurrection, there's no possibility for salvation and really no reason to be a Christian.
And that's the thing about Easter. Just like most other holidays, it's been commercialized. People hear the word "Easter" and think of chocolate, bunnies, and annoying plastic grass. But they don't think about Jesus--or not much, at least--and the light, the hope, the joy that He brings to us. Because if the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us, there isn't a darn thing that can prevent us from living the lives God has planned for us. Not poverty, sickness, circumstances, loss, or emotions. Not even that darn Easter grass.
What's your favorite Easter tradition? And when, since Easter falls on April 1, are you celebrating April Fool's Day? Let me know in the comments below! God bless you, dear reader, and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.